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Orthodontic Conditions

Impacted Teeth

During the normal eruption pattern, the permanent teeth generally dissolve the roots of the deciduous (baby or primary teeth) as they erupt into the mouth. The end result is that the baby teeth fall out and are replaced almost immediately by the permanent successor.

Sometimes, however, the permanent teeth loose their normal path of eruption into the mouth and track off in an abnormal direction, where they fail to erupt. These are termed "impacted". The end result is a failure of the baby tooth to be lost and the permanent successor remains under the gum. The unerupted (impacted) tooth then has the potential to dissolve the roots of the tooth it comes in contact with and not uncommonly this is an adjacent permanent tooth.

Impacted teeth can be a genetic trait with the incidence more common in females than males 2:1 and are closely associated with missing or very small lateral incisor teeth (the second upper front tooth).

The most common impacted tooth is the upper 'eye' or canine tooth.

Click here to watch our video introduction on impacted teeth

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